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Bard Hernia Mesh Bellwether Trial Posptoned

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The first Bard hernia mesh bellwether jury trial is postponed until April 2021, due to delays with the coronavirus pandemic.

Columbus, OHHaving been delayed three times now, the first C.R. Bard hernia mesh lawsuit is slated for April 19, 2021. The bellwether jury trial has been centralized before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus in the Southern District of Ohio. At issue is that Bard and its subsidiary Davol knew and when they knew about their defective hernia mesh.

The complaint against Bard and its subsidiary Davol, filed by Steven Johns in October 2018, was selected from thousands of similar complaints. As of October 2020, 9,394 federal hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed against Bard and consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation into MDL 2846.

Johns alleges that Bard and Davol knew that its Ventralite ST mesh is not a viable long-term hernia treatment because the “Sepra Technology” breaks down and is absorbed into the body too rapidly, to be effective. Johns also claims the companies concealed this information. After his first hernia mesh surgery that involved Bard Ventralight ST mesh, Johns suffered pain and debilitating complications, a hernia recurrence and adhesions.  A second surgery removed the original mesh but he was implanted with yet another Ventralight ST.

Defendant’s Expert Testimony

In September 2020 Judge Sargus partially granted a motion to plaintiffs asking that defense expert testimony by two doctors be excluded. He ruled that they cannot say the device “is in no way defective” or that the warnings about complication risk were sufficient.

Punitive Damages

Judge Sargus wrote that, "Plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence to establish genuine issues of fact exist as to whether Bard’s “intentionally fraudulent conduct” or displayed “knowing and reckless indifference.” Specifically, there are genuine issues of fact as to whether Bard misrepresented or concealed information regarding the timing of the resorption of the ST and the substantial risks associated with such early resorption—such as the exposure of bare polypropylene to the visceral organs—that could lead a jury to conclude they acted willfully or recklessly."

More Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Legal experts believe that, although a bellwether trial is not binding on subsequent Bard hernia mesh trials, the outcome will significantly impact other hernia mesh cases awaiting trial. 

Last August, Judge Sargus opined that 10,000 lawsuits could be filed against Bard by the time the first case goes to trial. Given the FDA’s estimate that up to 90 percent of almost one million hernia repair surgeries may use surgical mesh to stabilize abdominal or groin tissue, Judge Sargus gave a conservative estimate.

As of October 2020, about 21 Bard’s hernia mesh implant models are the subjects of pending lawsuits. Eight more of Bard’s hernia mesh implants are likely to lead to future lawsuits, some of which have product numbers shown to be defective. No surprise because hernia mesh manufacturers have recalled more than 211,000 units of hernia mesh from 2005 to February 2019. Many recalled devices triggered injured patients to file hernia mesh lawsuits against Bard and other mesh manufacturers.


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